JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. - Charlie Latham is the new Mayor-elect of Jacksonville Beach.
“I’m really glad the campaign part is over with and we can get to work,” Latham says.
His race went to a recount when the difference in votes between Latham and his opponent Penny Christian came within half a percent of the total votes, triggering a mandatory recount.
“He ended up with a vote margin of sixty-three to his credit,” Duval County Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland said.
He said it took about three hours to feed about 13,000 ballots through their machines.
“It’s like watching paint dry, but as you get to the end of it, you get your results,” Holland said.
And it’s a result that Latham is excited to hear. He says gaining the victory shows the voters believe in his platform, and he wants to honor that by working right away on bringing a Commercial Customer Service Office to City Hall.
“So that we’re proactively working with our businesses to take care of them and help them in this bad economy,” he says.
Latham says he is a business owner himself, which means he knows the hurdles which exist and how to knock them down. Another priority for him will be cutting down crime and vagrancy in Jacksonville Beach.
There were no other races which came within a half percent, though a few came close.
Ronnie Fussell finished with a 1.6 percent difference in votes than Brenda Priestly Jackson.
And the Presidential Race came within seven tenths of a percent.
Next week, Holland says he’s going to conduct a post-election audit and hand count a certain race and precinct which they randomly select.
“And that’ll put this election to rest,” he said.
Holland will also meet with Florida’s Secretary of State for an election wrap-up.